This quote comes from Christina Dunbar, a QVS Fellow serving in Portland at L’Arche.

On June 17, 2021, Christina joined supporters and Friends for QVS’ 2nd Annual Supporters’ Briefing and shared about her experience in QVS.

“Stumbling upon the QVS page I instantly felt the spirit and my soul telling me that this was something I had to do. I looked through all of the site placements and knew before I even had any idea where I would want to live that my site placement that I am at now is where I’m supposed to be. It has been an unusual journey for me. I have elderly parents that I left in California, a lot of my family and friends are still there. I came here not really knowing much of anybody…

Since, following the spirit and moving here, many things in my long term life are going to and have changed. I have decided to stay in Portland. My family is moving to Portland. I am going to be staying at my site placement… I have developed this community of people that I’m going to be living with in the next year. I’m going to go to school at [Portland State University]. I also made the executive decision to be part of the first group of young adults to join Pacific Yearly Meeting without joining a monthly meeting. There were six of us, and we really paved the way for that to happen. My life has completely changed since following the Spirit.”

 

Click Play Below to Watch Christina’s Recorded Testimonial (5 min, beginning at 8:35)

“Quaker Voluntary Service changed my life. It has made me a stronger person. It has made me a better friend. And I think that the things that I’ve done this year are going to change my life permanently.” 

– Christina Dunbar

Christina’s testimonial was recorded as part of QVS’ 2nd Annual Supporters’ Briefing on June 17, 2021. Check out this blog post to see the event’s recap and other special highlights!

More about Christina

Christina Dunbar (she/her) graduated from San Jose State University with an honors degree in Communicative Disorders and Sciences in 2018. Since that time she has been working in community organization and as a Special Education Teacher in the city of San Jose. While a student, Christina was involved in the Gender Equity Center Programming Board, V-Day, Peer Health Education, One Love Foundation, Cesar Chavez Community Action Center, National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, and her Sorority. Her involvement in many aspects of community activism, called attention to the fact that physical and mental differences are intersectional.

After graduation in 2018, Christina was appointed to serve the city of San Jose on the Early Education Commission and is the youngest appointment in the history of the committee at 26. In her spare time Christina gives back by educating on urban farming, and volunteering for several youth organizations. She loves nature, hiking, yoga, art, and a good dance party. Christina is hoping to become a certified herbalist, doula, and eventually pursue a Masters in Social Work. Following QVS, she will continue working at L’arche Portland, her QVS site placement.

 

Do you have to be Quaker to participate in QVS?

Nope! QVS is open to young adults from all traditions and there are always participants from non-Quaker backgrounds. In fact, each year about half of our Fellows do not identify as Quaker.

Quakerism is an experiential path. There is no dogma or creed. However, like other contemplative traditions, there are practices that Friends (what Quakers call themselves) have found help cultivate a rich inner-life of compassion and wisdom. We hope that your year, in conversation with these spiritual practices, will help you better attend to the source in which we “live, and move, and have our being,” a source that can serve as solid ground for a well-lived life dedicated to service and justice, regardless of your religious identity or non-identity. In short, will will ask you to “try on” the Quaker way for the QVS year.

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